Brooklyn Dems deciding who will head party
CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 5/23/2013, 12:12 p.m.
Pressure is mounting on Assemblyman Vito Lopez to step down from his seat, along with equally loud criticism about how Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver handled the situation. However, focus is now shifting to who will lead the Kings County Democratic Party.
It appears as if a silent confirmation has already selected Frank Seddio for the job. The retired Canarsie assemblyman and past president of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club is considered the frontrunner to take the position, which Lopez stepped down from amid allegations of sexual harassment.
However, Black district leaders reportedly met last Wednesday to discuss strategies on how to get Assemblyman Karim Camara to head the county's party. The former pastor has been a member of the Assembly since 2005 and could diversify party leadership.
Camara is not the first Black politician to be called on to head the Kings County Democratic Party. When Lopez was first elected, Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, a Black candidate, lost to Lopez, only getting three votes.
Last week, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz called on the Democratic Party to select Seddio, referring to him as a "son of Canarsie" and crediting him for founding the West Indian Day Parade.
"He is the right man for the right job at the right time--exactly what Brooklyn, New York State and Democrats need to preserve and even strengthen our majority in the Assembly, ensure the best chances possible of taking control of the Senate and unify the party as we re-elect Barack Obama to a second term in this critical November election," said Markowitz.
However, things are not too bright when it comes to Seddio's past. He stepped down as a judge in 2007 after just over a year of what was supposed to be a 14-year term because he was under investigation. He violated court rules by giving out $55,000 in Assembly campaign funds to people, including friends and allies.
City Council Member Charles Barron said that it would be in the best interest to elect a person of color to head the Kings County Democratic Party because the majority of the borough is Black and Latino. He also feels that neither Camara nor Seddio would not be the best choice.
"Seddio would be Lopez part two," he said. "I say the most viable person would be Annette Robinson. Frank Seddio is Vito's boy, and if were elected it would be a disaster. It's critical to have an African American but not just anyone. We need a Black person who is going to be the strongest on some that affect the entire borough."